UVA community honors “hidden nurses” with recognition ceremony

(Source: WCAV)
(Source: WCAV)
Published: Apr. 7, 2019 at 2:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WCAV) -- Nurses of color, who graduated from Burley High School in the late 1900′s, were honored during a recognition ceremony at the UVA School of Nursing Saturday afternoon.

The ceremony is part of a research project that is shining a spotlight on "hidden nurses," who dedicated their lives to save people.

Daisy Dyer was one of the people at the ceremony.

She walked across the stage at McLeod Hall to accept an award on behalf of her mother, Pansey O. Dyer.

Dyer said her mom graduated in 1966 from nursing school.

Her mom passed away a couple of years ago, but she said her mom left behind a family legacy.

"I would dare say she was the smartest who joined that class," said Dyer. "She was always looking to better herself or her children."

Tori Tucker is part of the research team that put together the "hidden nurses" project.

She said the ceremony is a big step towards honoring black nurses and their impact on the Charlottesville community.

"A lot of times when we think of nurses, we often times think of nurses in their white starch uniforms, white hats, and for some people it's thinking of white nurses. But the truth is that black nurses are instrumental in the creation, development and sustaining the American health infrastructure," said Tucker.

The project is also another milestone Tucker hopes will inspire the community to share the stories of the hidden nurses in the future.

"It's our work," said Tucker. "It's on us to make an effort to tell these stories. These nurses have been here before us and the work that they've done will be here long after us."

This work is something Dyer hopes will continue so her mother's message can be shared for future generations.

"Let them know that above all things, that there is always better," said Dyer. "Whenever you might see yourself in a lower place, always seek and strive to do better."

Tucker said she’s going to conduct oral interviews as part of the next step for the project.

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